Volume > Issue > Bones of Contention

Bones of Contention

A POEM

By Br. James M. Deschene | November 1983

(Militia est vita hominis super terram. — Job)

 

Why in me, Sir, do you this battle wage

Of fire and ice, this war of flesh and ghost?

Why do opposites more fiercely rage

Unflagging tempers in me than in most

Men? Why cannot ghost be ghost, and bone

Bone? And why must I an exile be

From a world where spirit dwells alone

On cold and austere peaks of sanctity,

Or from the bone’s surrender to the sun

And sweet caress of a blue-and-green-tongued sea?

 

I thirst and shrivel in your tempering flame.

Give the miracle. Lord, thou thunder-three!

Grant the treaty, sign the triple Name.

 

See — my very prayer touched with a curse,

For the treaty only renders the breach worse.

 

Maintain your arms, defer your victory.

For I, should you bend near, could never see

You, Lord — such is the curse of night —

Nor ever love you should you cease to fight.

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